Singer songwriter Michelle Grimes pictured above is headed for big things!
10 questions with singer-songwriter Michelle Grimes
By I Love Limerick correspondent Elise Ahern
Michelle is a 22-year-old singer/songwriter from Coonagh, County Limerick who has studied Music and Dance at the University of Limerick.
No stranger to the stage, Michelle has performed in Trafalgar Square to over 20,000 spectators as part of ‘Pride in London’, has sung for the King and Queen of Belgium as well as singing for The Taoiseach and the U.S Presidential party in June last year when they visited Ireland.
Michelle is a former band member of UK girl band, Office Girls. The band was formed in 2015 after Michelle’s mother encouraged her to send in a video audition for the girl group. In 2016, Office Girls made it to the boot camp stages of the X-Factor UK series. A feat not many 22-year-olds can claim.
In 2018, Michelle auditioned for Ireland’s Got Talent where she wowed the judges, Louis Walsh, Michelle Visage, Denise Van Outen and Jason Byrne with her soulful voice. Michelle walked away from her audition with four ‘yes’ votes.
Since then, Michelle has released her own single ‘Going, Going, Gone’. In her own words, it’s a “modern-day song with a strong beat and good vibe”, which has been a major success on Irish radio!
We wish Michelle the best of luck in the future and we cannot wait to see what she will come up with next!
What was your childhood like?
I feel very lucky that I got to experience living in both Limerick City and Countryside. I first lived in PennWell Road and when I was about 10, we moved out to Coonagh. I absolutely loved living near town and my friends, but now, I have to say nothing compares to living near nature and the water. I love taking off for the day going out for a row on the River Shannon with my dad or going for long walks along the riverbank in your wellies!
My childhood was lovely. I have very fond memories growing up with my mam and dad and my sister Aisling. We are a very close family, and I am blessed with parents who love us and would do anything for us. They always supported my madness and love for performing! I must give a special mention to my Mam who always encouraged me to go after what I want. She took me to every audition no matter where it was! Family is very important to me and although we wreck each other’s heads at times, we love each other very much!
When did you know you wanted to become a singer?
I knew from a very young age. I want to say maybe 5. I remember my friends would be planning their dream wedding and I would be designing my costumes for stage and teaching my ‘backing dancers’ my routines. I am laughing writing this. Thinking back, I’d say my friends and poor sister were sick of me. I was like “Guys, we need to get this right so from the top 5,6,7,8…” As you can see, I always took it very seriously!
Who are your greatest inspirations?
When I was growing up all I wanted to be was Britney Spears! My mam bought me the headset microphone and I had costumes from dancing competitions, I used to pretend I was on stage every night, my mam has the video footage, and it is HILARIOUS!
I loved the top of the pops and all the 80’s classic hits my mam would be listening too. Now, I love Dua Lipa, Madonna, Freddie Mercury, Lady Gaga, FKA twigs, and everything 00’s R&B. I think that shows in my music. I want to be able to bring a new, fresh pop sound and perform like the icons Madonna and Freddie Mercury. Their energy and stage presence was incredible. I can’t wait to perform somewhere amazing and have a proper show with lights, production, dancing the whole lot!
What advice would you give someone who wants to start a career in music?
Sometimes the hardest part of starting anything is the internal battle you have with yourself. Some advice I wish I had would be to not doubt yourself so much! I think starting out you should know who you are as an artist. Know who you are as a person. Know your value and your power and don’t let anyone try to steer you off the path you want to walk. You should have a good support system and someone you trust. Do not be afraid of judgement or what people might say and try your very best to stay away from toxic people and situations.
From my personal experience, let me tell you the music industry is full of toxic people and situations. You need to learn to rise above it. I am very thankful for everything I have experienced as it made me the strong woman I am today.
I have learnt that life is short and fragile so if you know in your soul you were born to do something, then go for it and don’t let the voice of fear and worry win. Set your intentions, focus on them and you will see what happens! I feel like I’ve recently gone through an awakening and It’s a magical feeling when you are finally doing what you love and what you are meant to do.
Tell us the meaning behind your new single “Going, Going, Gone”
This song is about being deep in love. It speaks about finding love so strong it is almost transcendent. ‘Going, Going, Gone’ refers to going past the point of no return in a relationship, where you realise you are completely head over heels for this person. I absolutely love it! and writing this song was such a fun and creative experience. To me, this song is essentially a modern-day love song with a strong beat and good vibe.
What has been your greatest achievement?
This is a tough one! I feel like I’m lucky to have done a lot of incredible things already. Some highlights would be performing to 20,000 people in Trafalgar Square in London, performing for Royalty in Belgium and performing for the U.S presidential party.
Most recently, my greatest achievement is having the courage to take the leap to release my own music. I can’t believe how well it’s doing! I was honoured to be the Select Irish Track of the Month across some of the biggest mainstream radio stations in Ireland. I just did my first live gig for ‘Hot-press Magazine’ and they wrote the most incredible review! My single was also number three on the Breakers charts and for a number of weeks, I was leading women in the Irish radio charts. My publicist describes this as a historic achievement. That is wild for a first single and I’m so excited for what’s to come!!
What has been the most challenging part of your music career?
The most challenging part of all of this for me is actually getting back up and fighting after every rejection, every toxic situation I found myself in and every dehumanizing comment and critique I have received over the past few years of my life in this music industry. I have been through a lot while I was living in London in the girl band, but I’m here and I’m more ready than ever to launch my career. One quote that I fell in love with and found to be true is one by Doe Zantamata. It reads: “It is only in our darkest hours that we may discover the true strength of the brilliant light within ourselves that can never, ever, be dimmed” singer songwriter Michelle Grime
How has your career been affected by lockdown?
I would love to be able to tour with my music but obviously, COVID-19! To be honest, lockdown gave me a chance to finish my Professional Masters’ Degree in Music Education from U.L. It allowed me to stop and reflect on what I want out of life. I finished my song’s, and I went and recorded them the minute lockdown was over. singer songwriter Michelle Grimes
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I hope to be touring and selling out arenas. I can’t wait to perform on a stage and spread love and positive vibes! I think it’s what we need right now. I would love to be an established, successful artist who is rocking the charts at number 1 !! manifest, manifest, manifest! singer songwriter Michelle Grimes
What do you love most about Limerick?
I am so proud to be from Limerick. I love the atmosphere and the vibe we have created here. Especially around Christmas! It’s so nice to feel a buzz around the town again and seeing people! UP LIMERICK!! XOXO
To listen to Michelle’s single on Spotify go HERE
To get Michelle’s single on all platforms go HERE
For more stories on Michelle Grimes, go HERE